Older Persons Month Ambassadors, from left, Percival Whittaker, Mexi-Ann Grant, Pastor Marquiss McLaughlin and Alex Johnson, meet Acting Governor Franz Manderson at the launch of Older Persons Month.

Cayman has been celebrating Older Persons Month, following the launch of four weeks of activities with a ceremony at the Family Life Centre.

Reflecting this year’s theme of “Respecting the Wisdom and Value of Older People,” several speakers at the Oct. 1 launch event reflected on the determination, sacrifices and knowledge base of local senior citizens, while encouraging the community to draw on these resources in everyday life.

Among the speakers were Acting Governor Franz Manderson; Teresa Echenique, chief officer for community affairs; Felicia Robinson, director of the Department of Children and Family Services; and Kenneth Bryan, MLA for George Town Central.

The event attracted 250 senior citizens, including 10 from Cayman Brac.

During the event, Older Persons Month Ambassadors Alex Johnson, Mexi-Ann Grant, Percival Whittaker and Pastor Marquiss McLaughlin were recognized for their service and leadership within their districts, and received plaques and floral tributes. Rupert Ebanks and Hope Foster were also acknowledged.

Keynote speaker Maureen Cubbon, award-winning chef and founder of the local food movement BestLife, presented the audience with several ideas on backyard farming, and championed the use of local produce for sustaining a healthy lifestyle. She also gave a cooking demonstration, using local foods, and provided attendees with a taste of her sweet potato and black bean vegetable hash.

Attorney Natasha Bodden, of Sonia Bush and Associates, conducted a seminar on advanced care planning, which included instructions on elders’ future personal care and estate management.

Hazard Management Cayman Islands staff gave tailored hurricane preparedness advice; Pines Retirement Home personnel shared information on their caregiver training program; and Council for Older Persons representatives shared and collected information relevant to its skills registry.

Caring Hands Cayman carried out blood checks and gave information about caregiving services; Deanna’s Farm gave away fresh local produce and the Department of Agriculture gave out seedling plants. Food at the event was served by members of the Lions Club of Grand Cayman.

Upcoming events for Older Persons Month include: a Cayman Brac Social at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Oct. 16; a “Sustaining Older Persons” lecture at UCCI, 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 17; Bingo Night at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre, 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 18; The Big Stage cultural event, Harquail Theatre, 6.30-9 p.m. on Oct. 18; Island tour of Cayman Brac, 9 a.m., Oct. 19; and a tea party at The Pines Retirement Home, 4-6 p.m., Oct. 20.